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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 31, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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rights. and if we've got to go state by state, court by court, it's not about who wins this election. it's about who can participant and we intent to make sure all parents are protected with their voting rights. thanks for watching. have a great labor day weekend. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts now. good-bye, tampa, hello, charlotte. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. let me start with this. does truth win out? really? if one side of a fight puts out something misleading or down right dishonest, who you going to call? who's going to come in, umpire the thing and really set it right? well, they're right here in the fight here is the challenge in this election.
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separating discernible fact from partisan fiction. a plant closing. who you going to call when lying fills the air and when one side doesn't care what someone says. they're going to keep saying what gets votes. let's get to it with mayor willie brown and the nation's magazine john nichols. i want to start with john. as a journalist, this whole question if there's something discernible -- let's look at one of the main distortions. the republicans haven't let facts get in the way of their rhetoric this week. in mitt romney speech talking about the promise of president obama back in 2009 as if he and the rest of the republicans tried their best to work with the president after the election. let's watch this one. >> four years ago, i know that many americans felt the fresh excitement of the new possibilities of a new president. that choice was not the choice of our party, but americans always come together after elections.
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we're a good and generous people and united by so much more than what divides us. i wish president obama had succeeded because i want america to succeed, but his promises gave way to disappointment and division. >> "the new york times" called the notion that republicans rallied behind president obama quote, an extraordinary reinvention of history, quote, the truth rarely heard this week in tampa is that the republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day mr. obama was inaugurated. determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement no matter the cost to the economy or american security. that's something, by the way, that senate minority leader mitch mcconnell basically admitted. let's watch him. >> you said quote, the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-term president. so how do you respond to those democratic lines of attack? >> well, that is true. that's my single most important political goal along with every active republican in the country.
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>> in all the issues we have about last night, a lot of journalists have with what was said in this convention especially by paul ryan in his speech was this claim that they were with obama from the beginning. they were rooting for this guy from the sidelines hoping to cooperate with him. yet we know romney was running for president again from the day he lost last time. it's on the record he wasn't rooting for him. and mitch mcconnell was saying i'm going to stop this guy in his tracks so he doesn't have one trophy to show the voter in four years. >> chris, you're asking me. i believe they met and conspired for that purpose. and they executed it. there wasn't one occasion when the interests of the country and this nation superseded partisan barring of mr. obama's
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re-election campaign. and it's a tragedy. because what mr. romney said is true. when the election is over, we come together supposedly. this is not what was done with reference to mr. obama's first term as president. >> what did you make of -- i didn't even know about this. paul ryan was one of 15 republicans personally who met the night of the inauguration. robert draper writes this book. do not ask what good we do. that's the name of the book. republican lawmakers and strategists were plotting from the night of obama's inauguration to make the president fail. there were reports of a dinner that night with eric cantor and vice presidential nominee paul ryan as well as newt gingrich came up with a plan and here it is. the dinner lasted nearly four hours, the republicans had agreed on a way forward. geithner, show united and unyielding opposition to the president's economic policy, begin attacking vulnerable democrats on the air waves.
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win the spear point of the house in 2010. jab obama relentlessly in 2011. win the white house and senate in 2012. john nichols of the nation. this was a meeting, a conspiracy meeting held in private to destroy the obama presidency. now these people come out with crocodile tears about the failures where they are of this administration claiming, oh, they were in there rooting for them. >> i had no idea that mitt romney was so enthusiastic about the obama campaign. he actually had paragraph after paragraph in his speech about the hope and possibility there. and he -- >> he said he hoped he had succeeded as president. >> he was suggesting, kind of painting himself as one of these folks that just riarrived at th convention. i was with obama last time -- >> what are we to make of the claim offal truism here? here was a guy running for president the minute he lost last time. by the way, publicly hoping. raising money, doing the whole thing. >> something else. when barack obama decided he was
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going to go for it, a very tough moment, to save the domestic auto industry, what did the son of the former head of american motors write in the "new york times"? obama's wrong, let detroit go bankrupt. this was a guy who was using his greatest name recognition strength to try to take president obama down. that was in april of -- >> so, let's watch some of the facts from last night. we're going to try to take onion skin off this. on wednesday night, paul ryan was criticized for a massive number of distortions in his speech some of them revised history leaving out the fact that the republican party spent the past three and a half years refusing any opportunity to compromise with president obama. for example, ryan put the blame for the country's credit downgrade squarely on the shoulders of president obama. let's listen. >> it began with a perfect aaa credit rating for the united states. it ends with a downgraded america.
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>> the reason the debt rating was downgraded is that it had a lot to do with the republican congress playing a dangerous game of chicken over the debt refusing to compromise. here's what he said about the simpson bowles debt commission. this is again paul ryan skating around the truth. >> he created a new bipartisan debt commission. they came back with an urgent report. he thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing. >> they. they. the commission. he was on the commission. the fact he leaves out is he actually sat on the commission. 3 that guy there had voted against the final urgent report and many believed help would bring it down. despite good people voting for it. mayor, here's a guy that was able to go before the national audience debuting himself and presents himself as someone who isn't another all responsible for the failure of simpson
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bowles as a compromise. blasting the president ignoring the fact he voted against it. >> chris, first and foremost, he's speaking only to his devoted section of people who casts votes and ballots on what he believes. that's why he thinks he can get away with all the misrepresentations. it's not unusual for the president to forgive those of us who are in politics and we lie. let's just hope the public can see through everything mr. ryan said. it is clear he is not going to tell the truth in this campaign because if he tells the truth in this campaign, it will be inconsistent with the best interest of the people in this country. and he will be rejected. he's running to try to fool them. and he's going to say whatever it takes to fool them. >> i accept that. that's a pretty cynical tough remark by the mayor who knows his politics.
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let me ask you this. here's a guy who portrays himself as a boy scout, mr. clean, sterling reputation for having guts to do things maybe not deserved. but here he is being over facts. can he still be mr. clean and a guy who's known not to tell the truth? i'm not going to call him lying ryan. somebody's going to do that and come up with a nasty phrase for the guy. so far there's a conflict here between the reality and the pretense. >> this is a big deal. i covered him in his initial campaign in '98. i was shocked he went there. >> you thought he'd come on for what he was. >> i thought he'd give more of what he was. who was was shocked was my mom. she said i can't believe paul ryan said that. >> let's go to the heart of this. the closing of the gm plant in his district that he said was the fault of obama when the plant was declared closed. stopped making cars before obama got to washington as president.
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>> i got a letter today that was written june 3rd, 2008. seven, eight months before he came into office. it talked about the plant closing in 2008. it was siend by paul ryan. paul ryan was aware that plant was in the process of closing while president bush was in charge. >> why did he single out a dishonest opportunity? >> it was madness. there was another plant in the district that did close when obama was president. i think they were so desperate for that applause line of i had buddies i went to high school with -- i think that was about trying to make him seem less like the rich kid and more like the working class kid and he was concerned about his buddies that lost their jobs. what cost. people around this country were introduced to paul ryan as a guy who would deceive them about his own hometown. >> go ahead. >> let me tell you about when you are identified as a liar. if you're identified as a person
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not capable of telling the truth, not trusted, and you're running for public office, that stench stays with you. you can't spend your way out of that image. period. you're toxic and will stay toxic on that issue. >> wow. one of the most popular lines repeated over and over in the convention over in the convention we just came from down in tampa was the fabrication of what president obama said making it seem like the president was implying that business owners didn't deserve credit for building their businesses. >> the president said if you've got a business, you didn't build that. >> he can't fix the economy because he doesn't know how it was built. >> it shurt doesn't help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. what they deserve to hear is the truth. yes, you did build that. >> we build planes, we build cars. >> we do build it. >> no government there to hold your hand. >> mitt romney was not handed
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success. he built it. >> if a guy walked in a bar and heard that story he'd say well, if you got a business, you didn't build that. well, you know what we'd do with him don't you? we'd throw him out. >> i still don't get that one. i don't get it. anyway, over the top under the table, whatever. out of the bar. this thing about you didn't build it, the president may not have been artful in his statement there. but he did say praising the people rather than the businesses that start them. he said it. >> it was in a speech about small business how we relate government to small business. the weird thing was -- you may not have walked the hallways at the conventions as much as i did. i went into the romney store. there was a romney/ryan store. before the speech there were t-shirts. some of the lines you heard there were already on the backs of the t-shirts. >> the pseudoreligious stuff
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that's tossed around. we're getting there. fact checking doesn't mean anything. they mock fact checking. oh, that science. that's fact checking. >> and they're furious at politifact for correcting. >> have a nice weekend, you two. coming up, it's president obama's turn with his convention. we'll answer the question are you better off than you were four years ago? also it's the biggest thing on twitter right now and just about everywhere. poor clint eastwood. as a longtime eastwood fan, i must say i'm asking myself what was the romney campaign thinking in booking this guy in the one hour they had to sell the country. plus democrats win a battle over vote blocks. progress there in texas now in ohio. let's hope pennsylvania makes the right decision. finally let me finish with the biggest distortion of this week. that the republicans wanted
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president obama to succeed. this is "hardball," the place for politics. look! she wears the scarlet markings! out! your kind is not welcome here! nor your odd predilections! miracle whip is tangy and sweet, not odd. [ villager 1 ] it's evil! if you'd try it, you'd know. she speaketh the truth! [ villagers gasping ] reverend? ♪ can i have some? ♪ hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ]
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we're back with more on that fiction as truth strategy of the romney campaign. what happens when the media loses its credibility as an
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honest broker and is persistent retelling of fiction in an election becomes in the minds of many, fact. that just may be a page out of the romney playbook. according to neil newhouse, here's what he said. fact checkers come to this with their own set of thoughts. you know what? we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers. with me now are the "hardball" strategists. steve mcmahan and john feehery. that was a hell of a statement because fact checkers sort of do this for a living. they're generally reliable. for the republicans to say we don't need no badges like in the movie, we don't need no stinking badges. we're just going to make our points. what do you make of that statement? >> i think that you cannot be, your campaign a to be -- you have to run your campaign. you can't dictate. glenn kesler says in the "washington post" or bill odair, i like both those guys.
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you have to say the facts as you believe them to be. i will say that i remember joe wilson -- i remember when joe wilson called president obama a liar. and i condemned him for it. i think you have to be careful in calling paul ryan who said the truth. his speech is accurate all the way down the line. he said the truth. calling him a liar degrades -- >> i think it's going to get there because of the fact that there's the enumeration of this. i'm not going to be the one to call him it. but why would a guy with a clean record going out introducing himself with our -- let's put it this way hard to argue statements like this one. talk about deceptive language. he says that that gm plant in his district closed on obama's watch. that was the clear implication of that charge he made at the convention. now it turns out that it closed on george w. bush's watch. now, i don't know how you can say that's just how he sees pit. >> by the way, not only did it close on george bush's watch, paul ryan knew that.
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in fact, it was on a list to be closed in june of 2008 before president obama even visited there. and then it closed, in fact, before president obama took office. hold on a second. >> let's get the facts -- >> that's what we're doing here. >> you said the facts were a matter of interpretation. you have to run your campaign based on the facts as you believe them. if there's a date of a plant closure and announcement and it's in your state, the expectation is that you would be aware of it. particularly after -- >> here are the facts. barack obama came to janesville. that's a fact. he said that his economic policies would reopen that plant -- >> reopen? >> that's what he said. and then the third fact is the plant still closed. the economic policies of the president have not worked. >> i never heard reopen. i thought he said he would save it. >> he said the jobs would come back, it would be reopened. and the fact of the matter is it's still closed. >> when did it close? >> that doesn't matter. >> i'm asking you. >> it closed in october of 2008.
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>> did barack obama have any ability to stop the closing of that plant? >> he said -- >> if i say to you -- i'll play democrat -- tokyo's the capital of japan, right? is there another point of view on that one? no, is there a paul ryan view of no i've got another capital of japan. it's all how i see it. i see it this way. osaka. he could say that and that's just his point of view? >> of course not. >> okay. how about when he says it died on obama's watch and we know it died in december 2008? >> the fact of the matter is obama did go to that plant. he did promise it would reopen. >> let's get to the debt ceiling. i talked about a member of my family worked for the debt commission. i look and say he should have done it. i think we are wrong. somebody should have guarded this and go to the center. ryan said that about the president wednesday night. i think it was a tough charge. he never pointed out useful
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information. he was on the debt ceiling commission and he voted against it. why didn't he bring that out? >> it was the president's debt commission. the president is the leader. one thing about paul ryan. he passed a budget twice. he did what he had to do. he stepped up to his responsibilities as budget chairman and got a budget passed twice. the president walked away from the debt commission -- >> how about if a ship sank and two people left before it sank and one other blamed the other but never said i also left the ship before it sank. it's useful information. >> let's talk about the two budgets that paul ryan passed. they had the very same medicare cuts that paul ryan criticizes the president for. while they talk about balancing the budget and sounded good and got -- >> that is -- >> hold on. they got a $4.3 billion tax cut not paid for. >> let ryan speak for himsf. here he is talking about the failure of president obama to support simpson bowles. let's watch. >> he created a new bipartisan
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debt commission. they came back with an urgent report. he thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing. >> and what did ryan do? >> he passed his own budget. >> what did he do with simp bowles? >> he voted against it. when it comes to the medicare charge, yes, they have the same numbers. but they are different types of cuts. what obama has done -- >> cutting $700 billion. let's go beyond this. it's clear that ryan's got a problem here. and it's gone beyond this table and you fehr, you're going a good job here. i know what flacking is. that's flacking. the dnc next week, play republican here. play democrat here. you first, then him. how does the president address the serious question of last week are you better off than four years ago?
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it's a tough charge and legitimate charge. reagan did it well. he beat carter with it. >> he's got to remind people of what he inherited when he walked in the door. second, he's got to acknowledge that it has been more difficult, it's taken longer and it's been a harder road than he thought it would be and he knows you are disappointed. because he's disappointed too. >> would that work? would it be all right to say i was in a ditch i pulled the car out of the ditch, it's not running right. >> it's better than what he's going to do which is attack republicans on medicare. >> he needs to do that too. >> that's all he going to do. >> your convention to get the woman's vote. there's my mother, my daughter, my sister. [ overlapping speakers ] >> he had every female member of his family there. >> absolutely. but the fact of the matter is what he can't talk about, his record. it's very unpopular. >> yes, he can. >> you're a good pro. you play well on a muddy track. thank you. the sideshow is coming up
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with jon stewart's take on the republican convention. this'll be brutal. and coming up on monday next week, the documentary "obama: making history." that's monday night, labor day, 10:00 eastern. "barack obama: making history." this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with advanced haldex all-wheel drive. [ engine revving ] it's bringing the future forward. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air -
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>> i know how extraordinarily difficult it is to build something from nothing. >> and a radical collectivist who says things like -- >> if you've got a business, you didn't build that. >> and this. >> i was not born -- >> in this country. >> and i am the leader -- >> of al qaeda. >> this is the story of mitt romney, who built that. >> clearly a nod to learn factual statements we heard in paul ryan's speech the night before. now to the flubs you may have missed. you wouldn't expect anyone at the republican convention to call for more government, right? okay. marco rubio, time for your closeup. >> in the early years of this new century, we lived in an uncertain time. but we did not allow fear to cause us to abandon what made us special. we chose more government instead of more freedom. >> let it go by. a spokesperson for the governor
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confirmed rubio intended to say more freedom opposed to more government. and now to jan brewer. brewer endorsed president obama inadvertently. >> i know that if president obama is elected in november, which i hope he is, that we'll be able to come together with all of us and come up with a solution. and i believe he will secure our borders. and therefore we can resolve all those other issues as a simple matter. >> wow. that would be quite a shift in opinion after this well-known tarmac moment between governor brewer there and president obama. a spokesperson stepped up in that case as well to clean up the mess. also, look at the pointing finger there. also when president obama weighed in on how mitt romney's business experience would play into the responsibilities of being president. >> if you're a head of a large private equity firm or hedge fund, your job is to make money. it's not to create jobs. that doesn't necessarily make
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you qualified to think about the economy as a whole, because as president my job is to think about the workers. my job is to think about communities where jobs have been outsourced. >> anyway, fresh from his big night at the republican convention, romney accidentally helped further the president's argument. >> paul ryan and i understand how the economy works. we understand how washington works. we will reach across the aisle and find good people who like us, want to make sure this company deals with its challenges. we'll get america on track again. >> this company, see what i mean? they'll help get this company back on track. wrong business model, sir. up next, we might never know exactly what clint eastwood was thinking last night at the republican convention, but the bigger question many are asking what were the republican officials thinking there putting him in the primetime hour? that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. as louisiana residents recover from flooding trigger by hurricane isaac, other states are feeling the wrath. heavy bands of rain stretch from arkansas into missouri. authorities looking for a motive after an ex-marine opened fire at a supermarket in new jersey. a railroad worker claimed the multimillion dollar power ball jackpot in michigan. shows the lump sum cash option of $224 million. back to "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." until last night, these may have been the lines clint eastwood was most well known for. let's listen. >> get off my lawn. >> go ahead, make my day. >> well, at last night's republican convention, eastwood broke new ground. in a performance timed to air in the new york primetime just after 10:00 eastern leading up to romney giving his speech. he added improve. >> i've got mr. obama sitting here. what? what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that. can't do that to himself. you're crazy. you're absolutely crazy. all right. i'll start it, you finish it.
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go ahead -- >> make my day! >> thank you. thank you very much. >> time and place are everything, everything. what in the romney campaign who put them on the stage at that time after the rubio speech before the rousing introduction of the candidate, why they put him up at that moment? nia-malika henderson and david corn. nia -- >> yes. >> stewart is a smart guy, he's written novels. he's aware of communications and what works and what doesn't. did he know what that chair meant when they agreed to put it out there? >> no, they didn't. apparently before he was going out asked the convention organizers can i borrow a choir. people maugt have thought he was going to be sitting in it.
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he didn't. he talked to it. weirdly enough, it was like bad performance art. >> i'll get you opinion in a minute. did you at any point think this is working or no it's not working? >> i thought it was weird from beginning to end. i was uncomfortable. and i was a little sad. here is clint eastwood, american icon. >> you watched the reactions the women even, older women were laughing at that off color stuff. >> they were. i think the crowd in the forum where i was was sort of so jazzed by the presence of clint eastwood, that that just sort of carried them through this performance. people watching at home who don't really -- who don't identify with republicans and don't want to feel like -- >> you're talking about the blogosphere. >> not only. but thinking we've got clint eastwood. we're hip. >> now we have a twitter start. after he finished it, a twitter
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star was born called invisible obama. a new handle designated by an empty chair. at last check, invisible obama has more than 50,000 twitter followers and a new trend was born. eastwooding. an empty car passenger seat. the obama campaign trumped them all twitting this pic. that was smart. you think it's smart to get in the ditch with this stuff? >> i think in a light handed way. the bottom line here is i think most americans who don't pay a tremendous amount of attention to politics and might have been interested in the final night to see what this mitt romney guy is like -- >> you know who was interested in how her husband got the opening, ann romney. she did a series of morning interviews today. we're going to learn this as you do. asked about the timing and nature. in other words, place and time of eastwood's appearance. eastwood was in network
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primetime while a moving video about her husband was not. let's watch what ann romney thought of that. >> do you wish that video had aired in primetime instead of clint eastwood's monologue? >> you know, i think it's important that people do see that side of mitt. we appreciated clint's support, of course, but yes i do wish more people had seen -- had seen those touching moments. >> but you seemed to be surprised by the romney -- i mean, by clint eastwood's performance as the camera took a cutaway of you. >> i didn't know it was coming. again, i could tell you we're grateful for everyone's support and grateful for what a great night it was last night. >> this was charming. >> you hearsaying go in for it. go in for it. >> she just threw clint eastwood
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not under the bus, but under the chair. >> it was kind of charming the way she handled it, i thought. >> there's no other way to respond to this. >> what do you say? >> a couple really brutal lines. i've always liked him as an actor. but some would say that's below the belt. something about there's only one thing to do when somebody fails, let them go. i thought that was the most powerful line of the convention before he got into trouble with the pantomime. >> people cheered for that line. i think that's what people weren't expecting. those sorts of sound bites and gravelly voice. >> this is what to me is inconceivable. from mitt romney and stew stephens and everyone else, you don't ask him what you're going to do. >> let me ask you about -- listen, now we're into this. let's talk about the hairdo. i have to tell you, that was christopher lloyd in "back to
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the future". >> it's like bed head. the messy hair. >> and then i thought the -- why did he do it? he's got a new film out. it looks good. about women in baseball. looks great. >> maybe this is part of his comeback. >> this guy is pro-gay marriage and pro-choice. he's pro-the auto bailout. >> they said great things about hillary clinton. >> he didn't seem to understand mitt romney's position on afghanistan. i don't think from his side or their side was thought out. >> what about gitmo which we haven't heard a lot of them talking about the failure to close gitmo. people in my family want to know why, but i'm asking you. he brought the topic up. >> he brought it up. it's interesting -- >> then he said we paid for it. >> then he didn't seem to know it was democrats and republicans on the hill who blocked the administration from closing gitmo. >> okay. clint eastwood last night.
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tom cruise on oprah's couch. >> what's worse? >> oh, this is a thousand times worse. >> you are such a liberal. >> come on! >> i think the cruise thing was pretty embarrassing. >> in terms of the impact, the cruise thing only affects tom cruise and his family. >> this isn't going to affect mitt romney. >> are you saying there's a political impact on this? >> nobody cares. it's just fun. they will parody it on "saturday night live." >> we're talking about romney's message today. people are talking about the convention. >> i hate to break this up. i hate to bill you lower than you deserve. thank you, nia-malika henderson and david corn. up next, what was it with all this 18th century talk at the convention? it was all about the founding fathers. they were great. but we're not back with what they started us with. or is that what the republicans want to do go back to o there? i've got the perfect guy to ask it to.
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we've got dick armey coming here. this is "hardball," the place for politics. by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm proud of that. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪
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republican senate candidate todd akin has been hemorrhaging support since his comments about abortion pregnancy and his phrase, legitimate rape. now karl rove has gone one step further. he told a republican donors breakfast in tampa today that quote, we should sink todd akin.
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if he's mysteriously found murdered, don't look for my whereabouts. one of the reasons he's worried the polling shows what was once a winnable race for republicans is now a tight race. akin is at 44%. we'll be right back. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms
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♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ welcome back to "hardball." politicians often look to the past for inspiration, but set the clock back about 225 years, you'll get a picture just who the republicans seem to favor at their convention this week. does the gop want to be known as the party of the past or future? former house majority leader dick armey is part of freedom works. congressman, i want to start with this. i noticed this trend this week in tampa. it seemed the founding fathers were getting more mention than that bench of yours in the party, the new kids out there. let's look. >> the wisdom of washington,
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jefferson, and madison. let's renew our founding fathers' victory for freedom. >> it's the story of our founding fathers. >> founding fathers. >> thomas jefferson and patrick henry. >> our founding fathers had the wisdom -- >> our founding fathers. >> our revolutionary founding -- >> hamilton and madison. >> our founding fathers. >> the founding generation. >> we're into the 21st century, mr. armey. why the call back to our roots with such a resonance, such a relentlessness? >> well, quite frankly i think that's an appropriate call back to what many, many american people realize is the founding foundations that make the nation's strong. it's a matter of appreciation and respect for what i believe was, in fact, truly the greatest generation of americans. my father's generation gets a lot of credit for having been that. but generations of americans that risked their life, their property, and their sacred honor
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for freedom and then created the greatest government in the history of the world with exactly the correct structure and separations of powers and limitations of powers. that was a great genius generation in the history of america. in america, and what so many americans realize as they watch the government going adrift into $16 trillion worth of debt and 23 million americans out of work, and dysfunctional government that seems to not be able to restrain itself from interfering and mandating the lives of people, that constitution, those foundations of liberty and dedication to a government that serves the people at the behest of the people, that got it right. and we need to return to that structure and that respect. >> but -- you're right -- >> it has a lack of respect for real people. >> but let's tong about respect
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for real people. in the beginning days of the country, women couldn't vote. they're now the majority of the electerate. they weren't allowed to vote until world war i. black americans were slaved, but they weren't able to vote until the 1860s, and really not into the 1960s. there's been progress made in giving rights to people who haven't had them. your party speaks to a we. you're after female votes, but why don't you recognize the progress that has been made in extending rights. >> two very, very commendable points of progress in the history of this country that allowed an even larger number of people to feel like they had a working partnership, leadership in the government, and both done by what? an amendment to the constitution, and that's the way we make progress, by building on the solid foundation we know is reliable, that will carry us forward. the fact of the matter is both of the constituencies you're
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talking about, american women and black americans won their greatest participation in liberty by amending that constitution. and that is -- >> that's not entirely true. we can argue constitution. i'm ready to do it. the 1964 civil rights act wasn't a constitutional amendment. it was an act of congress and allowed a person driving from florida to the north to go to a bathroom at a gas station. >> and let me just say once again, it was a legislative act of congress that would not have passed without the overwhelming support of republicans and with the overwhelming number of no votes having been democrats. still, nevertheless, people have different points of view, i understand the wonderful opportunity we get within this constitutional base of construkts and constraints of government to advance the cause of participation, increased
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happiness, of all people. and so quite frankly, i think it's quite appropriate and there are an awful lot of voters like myself that took comfort in an understanding at least the republican party is a party that understands the miracle of america is first found in that wonderful document called the constitution. and the wonderful genius of those innovators, the creative entrepreneurs that were the greatest generation of americans that gave us the constitution that protects our liberty principally from our own government. >> well, i understand that, but it just seems like we're relitigating, refighting which began f we had been in the 1940s, abolition, slavery, states' rights, nullification, all that sort of thing. it seems like we're back to that where your side in the interest of individual freedom are advocating more states rights, questioning the federal government, sort of taking us back to where we were. your heroes are madison and
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jefferson. they're not hamilton, not fdr, not lincoln. >> o, yes, many of our heroes are lincoln. of course, our party was born with lincoln's emancipation proclamation. the fact of the matter is if you didn't have the judiciary, the supreme court established by the constitution to adjudicate and make the rulings to make sure that we were in compliance with the constitution, many of those fights would have been lost. so that separation of powers, those checks and balances that are being eroded today as an irresponsible congress year in and year out have been creating an imperial presidency, scaring the devil out of thuamerican people is appropriate for us to call upon office holders at the federal level to get back in compliance with the separations in powers that are reflected in the genius of the document we
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call the constitution. >> i think we agree on one thing -- >> that was such a comfort that we were born free and stay free. >> thank you, dock army. we'll have you back many times. when we return, let me finish with the biggest distortion of the week. this is true, the republicans actually wanted president obama to succeed. they claim that last night. but is there any evidence that was the case from day one? they wanted obama to make it so they couldn't get the white house back? give me a break. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. what the... ♪ are you seein' this? ♪ ♪ uh-huh... uh-huh... uh-huh... ♪ ♪ it kinda makes me miss the days when we ♪ ♪ used to rock the microphone ♪ back when our credit score couldn't get us a micro-loan ♪ ♪ so light it up! ♪ even better than we did before ♪ ♪ yeah prep yourself america we're back for more ♪ ♪ our look is slacker chic and our sound is hardcore ♪ ♪ and we're here to drop a rhyme about free-credit-score ♪ ♪ i'm singing free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ dot-com narrator: offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com.
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let me finish tonight with this. tampa is dampa. and now it's about to hit the hampa. but before it does, let's remember it well. let's remember that the party convention held this week showed the raw power of people with a megaphone, a billion dollar megaphone capable of trumpeting out the same message no matter how often it's impeached by objectors. the biggest fib offered last night in tampa was the claim republicans wanted president obama to succeed. really? did anyone get that word to senate republican leader mitch mcconnell? how about paul ryan, who we're told now attended a meeting to undercut the obama administration the very night of obama's inauguration. how many times these past four years have we looked at the republican house of representatives and seen a caucus devolted to rejectsing obama's programs? all of them.

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